PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County business owners who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 now have an opportunity to apply for a variety of grants to help recover some of their losses.
Local businesses and nonprofits suffered in their own unique ways during the pandemic by either having to change their operations or closing their doors entirely.
“They just shut down because we asked them to for the pandemic obviously, so they deserve our help and they need our help getting that money,” said U.S. Representative Neal Dunn.
On Wednesday, the Bay County Commission held a news conference to announce applications for a variety of grants funded by the CARES act are now open.
A total of $5 million dollars will be distributed to local businesses or nonprofits who qualify for the grants.
“Small businesses are the backbone of this community,” said Bay County Commissioner, Phillip ‘Griff’ Griffitts. “We recognize that we’ve been very fortunate through this pandemic to be able to continue on with some business transactions thanks to the leadership of our governor.”
Matthew Cole, the owner of the Taproom in St. Andrews, said they had to close for six months and plans to apply for the grants as soon as possible.
“Just closing and reopening is expensive,” Cole said. “You know just having to make new orders, and fill supplies and have stock available and have stock expire and then having to repurchase that stock and then just not knowing when you’re gonna reopen again.”
Officials said there are five grants available and applicants can apply to multiple grants. For those who own a small business or a nonprofit and are interested in applying, click here.